In 1999 the short-lived Geneva gallery Alphiba produced a portfolio of twelve erotic prints by the mystery artist ‘Arkham’. They were mostly bought by tourists and visitors, including some who were in Geneva to see the long-lost original manuscript of Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom at the Bodmer Museum. Very few at the time recognised Babel’s highly-distinctive style in the ‘Arkham’ portfolio, but the similarities in style and content make the attribution undeniable.
The portfolio is presented in a blank folder, but Alphiba sold it as Nymphomanies, so this is the title we give it here. It contains the most explicitly sexual imagery to be produced by Babel, demonstrating how the expert use of a simple pencil can produce some remarkable results.
We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.